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Andrew Roberts Education. (2011) Andrew Roberts ('The Storm of War A New History of the Second World War.')

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Adolf Hitler 10, Russia 8, America 6, Britain 6, London 5, Nazis 5, Manhattan 5, Poland 4, Us 4, France 4, Stalingrad 4, Roberts 4, Moscow 3, United Kingdom 3, Berlin 3, Andrew Roberts 3, Rommel 3, Dunkirk 2, North Africa 2, Goebbels 2,
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  CSPAN    Book TV    Andrew Roberts  Education.  (2011) Andrew Roberts  
   ('The Storm of War A New History of the Second World War.')  

    July 3, 2011
    10:00 - 11:00am EDT  

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thought it was the right thing until the end of the war. he held his allegiance. so i think that they were well aware of how devastating the violence was. but i don't think it predictably drove him in one way or the other. the extremity of the violence is one reason why they thought it had to be fighting greater something -- fighting something greater. one of the reasons it has, it would only be a just war, it would only be justified if something so great could emerge from this. ..dddddddddçdçddddg
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>> they would have been sort of like almost leading the brigades in certain ways. and so your point that if this much violence is only worth it, there's some higher moral cause like emancipation. obviously, they don't see that in world war i. do they talk about the civil war as a war that might have been worth it? is it in their consciousness at all? >> the answer, they drew really heavily on the example of the abolitionists. they were trying trying to erade
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war in the same way that slavery had once been eradicated. and they said, you know, that once that had, people had said that reform would be gradual, that that would be impossible, whatever. and they said, no, look, this happens. war, too, can be eradicated. and war is a kind of flavoring in some way. um, and they absolutely saw themselves as they inherited that tradition. um, you know, the civil war, it's interesting because this is -- the civil war's really only a generation or two away in this time, and there was this congressman who set up, you know, during the debate over whether or not to go to war, he said i've seen -- he had been in the civil war, and he said i've seen war. we cannot to -- go to war. but, you know, i think there are other, certain historians who say that every generation fights
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it own war, you know? so -- >> anything else? >> again, louisa, thank you. the book is "conscious." [applause] >> this event was hosted by the tenement museum in the knight. in new york city. to find out more visit tenement.org. today on booktv's "in depth," author, activist and chuck a saw -- chickasaw resident linda hogan. her books include dwellings: a spiritual history of the living world, and her latest, "rounding the human corners." join our three-hour conversation for pulitzer prize finalist linda hogan today at noon eastern on c-span2. and now on booktv in his
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book, "the storm of war," andrew roberts presents a history of world war ii at an event at the manhattan institute at a the harvard club in new york city. he examines the entire expanse of the war which result inside the deaths of over 50 million people and a financial cost of $1.5 trillion. this is about an hour. [inaudible conversations] >> good evening, everyone. if i could have your attention, we'll get started. we're here to mark the publication of andrew roberts' latest book. it's my -- i'm larry moe, president of the manhattan institute, and it's my pleasure to introduce roger herring to tonight, chairman of the fund which focuses on jewish philanthropic interests. he's one of the founding partners of the legendary firm, the gold standard of investment research shops on wall street. he also served as the firm's
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president before its merger in 2000 and retired from from its successor company in 2006. for ten years i was privileged to work with roger when he served as chairman of the manhattan institute. his energy and strategic brilliance helped to bring the institute's influence to a whole new level. since 2007 roger has served as chairman of the new york historical society which has also experienced a renaissance under his leadership. for his many philanthropic endeavors, he was awarded the william e. simon prize for leadership in 2010. more to the point for tonight, he is a voracious reader and pax mate student of history -- passionate student of history. please join me in welcoming roger hertog. [applause] >> you can all leave now. [laughter] first of all, thank you all for
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coming. it's really a great honor having all of you guys here. um, this is one of those continued evening/late afternoon programs that the manhattan institute has put on for over years and years, and it's something, i think, that brings together many different people around this town. as you know, the institute is principally a think tank, but these programs also honor authors, authors that have produced works in public policy but also produce great work in history. and can that's what we're here tonight -- and that's what we're here tonight to talk about. a great historian, someone who when i think of it as i would say is not an ordinary historian. it would be, in my view, the most egregious of understatements to say that andrew roberts doesn't know what
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the term "writer's block" means. permit me to mention just the last six of his books, preceding the one whose release we celebrate this evening. see if you can detect a pattern here. you do not need a degree in forensic accounting. salisbury, the victorian titan 1999, napoleon and wellington 2001, hitler and churchill 2003, waterloo: napoleon's last gamble 2005, a history of the english-speaking peoples since
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1900, 2006. masters and commanders: how roosevelt, churchill, marshall andal allenbrook won the war 2008, and now we have the storm of war, a new history of world war ii which was released in the u.k. and was the number two bestseller on the london times' book review list. now, mr. roberts claims to be 48 years old. this is up for considerable debate. either he is about 70 with a lifetime backlog of research that allows him to put out a new book every year or two, or he runs an empire called roberts inc. which is an intellectual sweat shop with a bunch of
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elbows in the back room churning out product. there appear to be no other explanations for this level of productivity in terms of his output. like all andrew roberts books -- and i have a number of them on my shelf. i've never bought them, i've never gotten a discount -- [laughter] this one is a page turner. it gives us the view point of hitler and his generals. and andrew is trying to answer the really big question that has haunted historians and many others for the last 70 years. why did germany lose the war? was it the superiority of th allied powers? or was it strategic errors on hitler's part? in fact, with all of hitler's
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advantages how could he have possibly ever lost this war? andrew roberts' great contribution is to let us participate, in effect, in a grand strategy course centered upon hitler and his generals. of all the books that have been published on world war ii, none before have viewed it from this perspective alone. it is an absolutely intriguing story, and i urge you all to get yourself a copy. surprisingly, there are copies for sale in the corner on the left here. but first, before you rush out to buy this copy, first, a few words from the great historian himself. and, yes, he does turn out to be a young one. andrew roberts. [applause]
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>> ladies and gentlemen, it's a great honor to be invited to address you this owning, and -- this evening, and thank you very much indeed, roger, for those kind words. it's perfectly true that my book got to number two on the bestseller list beaten only by michael jackson. there we are. [laughter] and in the course, and i'd also like to preface my remarks by saying what an honor it is to appear under the auspices of of the manhattan institute. on the way out here, in fact, just as i was listening to the radio news, it has a reference to works and research done by the manhattan institute, um, and that is pretty fantastic. it boosted me no end to think that you are fine in all sill -- firing in all cylinders in the way that you are. in the course of researching and writing on the second world war
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which i've been doing now for 20 years, but specifically for my last book, "the storm of war," i have come to the conclusion that the real reason why hitler lost the war even though he could have won it was because he consistently put his nazi ideology before the best interests of the german reich. every time there was a diversion of the ways between his fascist fanaticism and the best interests of the -- [inaudible] he always went the nazi route. and this is the underlying reason for his defeat. you see it at the beginning of the war, at the very start of the war because in both poland and sand scandinavia and then with the maneuver through france in may 1940 he was allowing
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those german generals who had a far greater strategic grasp than he, men like rommel, he listened to those specifically in the case with the german army being taken through the channel ports by mid-may 1940. but after that he started to believe his own propaganda, the idea that he was, as goebbels called him, the greatest war lord of all time. this was part of the furor principle, the concept the furor was always right, and an essential key to nazi ideology as was the idea that because britain and germany were both anglo-saxon races, that they as aryans would not go to war with one another. it's an absurdity, needless to say, on so many levels. he, himself, had served in the
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trenches in the great war when they helped one another. but nonetheless, by the time the second world war broke out, there were only 46 operational u-boats against the united kingdom because he didn't believe he would ever have to actually fight the united kingdom. by the end of the war there were 463, most of them bottled up in the atlantic. but if he had started with as many as he finished with, he would have been able to strangle the united king kingdom. and when one looks at the plans to invade the united kingdom, many of which weren't agreed up until september 1940 when really they ought to have been put in place as soon as he came to power in january 1933, one appreciates how little he was expected to have to attack. there is the infamous list of 2,820 brick britons who were going to be shot on sight or at
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least when they were arrested by is the ss when the germans successfully invaded. in that list you will see sigmund freud who died in 1938, you'd see august huxley who had come to live in america in 1936, um, and there were many other schoolboy howler of that kind. indeed, when rebecca west and earl coward found out they were on the list, rebecca sent a telegram saying, my dear, the people we should have been seen dead with. [laughter] on the 25th of august, 1940, a lone -- [inaudible] which was lost dropped it bombs on the city of london. up until that period, they had been concentrating on the great air drone of southern england;
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portland, beacon hill. and they had smashed the command and communications systems, they had smashed the control systems, they had turned most of the actual runways of the aerial drones into a series of craters. and so as a result had they continued to do this, there's a very good chance that the raf would no longer have been able to flown in the battle of britain and, subsequently, the blitz. instead, the concepts that the furor was infallible, he ordered an all-out raid on london on the 17th of september and moved the concept of the attack from the aerial drones to the cities and, as a result, specifically, the east end of london. and as a result the raf was able to patch up the holes in the runways and get the command and
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control systems running up again. here again, ideology was given precedence over the best interests of the okay. of the reich. you then see with the invasion of russia a massive attack over three million men attacking on the 22nd of june, 1941. again, driven entirely by ideology. the timing was all wrong, there were only four months, five months of the rains and then six months of the winter, the snows of russia. but because half of europe's jews lived in the ussr in 1941, because he had been waiting for trying to get a final, as he called it, a final reckoning with the bolsheviks who had been fighting on street corners since the 1920s, because he wanted a layman's round for his master race over the subhuman slaves
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who he believed would be not be able to put up more than five months of fighting as he told goebbels, we will kick in the doors, and the rest of the rotten edifice will fall down. he unleashed this ideologically-driven assault on russia. at the beginning, of course, the an amazing success. on the first day of operation barbarosa, no less than half of the soviet bomber force was destroyed on the ground. it commander shot himself that afternoon which in stalin's russia was a sensible career move. [laughter] again and again, however, through the, through the struggle in russia adolf hitler would place ideology before, before the best interests of the
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reich, continually moved around generals who he didn't feel he could trust politically. one was sacked no fewer than four times in the course of the war, and rommel and -- [inaudible] were each sacked once or twice. general herd l was moved to four different commands in the course of 1944 alone, and really second rate generals, men like sherner and correct were continually promoted even though they weren't as good as the other generals because they were fanatical nazis. and then, of course, you have this great question why it was thought to be germans were so unprepared for the winter of 1931 and later, of course, 1942. and i believe that, too, the lack of winter clothing, can be put down to hitler's absurd racial theories of racial superiority, the idea that the
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slavic men would not be able to fight as well as the, as well as the germans. and this is a quotation from something he said to himmler who had come for supper on the 12th of august, 1942. and hitler told him this, he's boasting about the heartiness of the master race when it came to cold weather. having to change into long trousers was always a misery to me, hitler said. even with the temperature 10 below zero, i used to go about in laider hosen. the feeling they give you is wonderful. abandoning my shorts is one of the biggest sacrifices i had to make. quite a number of young people today already wear shorts year round, t just a question of habit. in the future i shall have an ss
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fighter brigade in liter hosen. needless to say, on the occasion of the -40 degree temperatures they had to face in russia, utter disaster overtook them. quite apart from, obviously, the incredible, incredible courage shown by the russian people and the russian army in defending. then one goes to stalingrad, you can see buildings where there is quite literally not a single brick that doesn't is have a bullet hole in it. and the effect of the cold was completely devastating. this is a short quotation from an italian journalist who was in the café in warsaw. it's still there, in fact, across from the railway station when he saw the germans coming off, the german wounded coming off the railway.
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um, and he said: suddenly, i was struck with horror and realized that they had no eyelids. i had already seen soldiers with lidless eyes on the platform of the mining station previously. that winter had the strangest consequences. thousands and thousands of soldiers had their limbs, thousands and thousands had their ears, their fingers and their sexual organs ripped off by the frost. many had lost their hands, their eyelids. singed by the cold, the eye lid drops off like a piece of dead skin, and their future was only lunacy. it was also part of the nazi ideology that because the slavs couldn't be trusted ever, they were never able to give the proper amounts of authority to the ukrainians and others that would have helped them if they
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had managed to bring them over around anti-bolshevik, anti-moscow campaign. again, ideology. and then when we see the decision to declare war against america on the 11th of december, 1941, four days after pearl harbor -- something that they did not need to do because they had no contractual treaty obligations to do this -- once again you see ideology playing a massive part. the only nazi leader, significant leader who'd ever been to america, the foreign secretary, had spent four years here trying unsuccessfully to sell champagne in the 1920s. [laughter] and that was, nevertheless, considered by the rest of the nazis who hadn't been here to mean that he was a great expert. and he said that because america was run by jews and by
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african-americans, therefore, they couldn't possibly get together an army that would land in western europe until the year 1970. he, obviously, by the way, hadn't looked very carefully at the actual makeup of the roosevelt administration. [laughter] and this is what, this is what he said. this is what he told a delegation of italians in 1942 about the americans. he said this: i know them, i know their country. a country devoid of culture, devoid of music. above all, a country without soldiers, a people who will never be able to decide the war from the air. when has a nation like that ever become a race of fighters and fighting aces? the fact was, needless to say, that the americans, in fact, landed a quarter of a million men in operation torch in the november of 1942 and started to, by may 1943, had captured as
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many axis forces as were captured in stalingrad only three months previously. in the year, in the calendar year 1944 when the germans produced 40,000 war planes, the russians another 40,000 and britain produced 28,000, in that same year the united states produced no fewer than 98,000 war planes, almost as much as the rest of the world put together. it's an uninvade bl country. it was, obviously, a act of, um, lunatic hubris to have declared war against you unnecessarily in december 1941, and it was done for ideological reasons. equally, the complete lack of coordination with japan is an astonishing, um, lacuna in hitler's strategic vision. have -- had the japanese attacked from the east at the
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same time that he was attacking from the west in june 1941, there's a very good chance that in october of that year the 16 siberian divisions would not have been able to have been brought to defends moscow at that key moment. on the 16th of february, 1941, stalin had his personal train made ready to take him back to, which just imagine the demoralization in the soviet union if that had got out. he didn't do it in the end, but the germans got to within 40 miles of the moscow subway system. it was incredibly close. up in the north the siege of leningrad, a grueling nine-day siege, cost 1.1 million people killed. there were people being arrested for cannibalism, and they were willing to go to those kind of levels sooner than give up. and then, of course, the battle
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of stalingrad down in the south. and yet he failed to coordinate with japan, um, largely because even though back in 1937 at the time of the pact, he claimed that the japanese were another aryan people. he got his anthropologists out, and they got call per out and -- cally pers out and measured the size of japanese skulls to try and prove the japanese were aryans. completely absurd, and none of them believed it either. nonetheless, when it came to the war, they basically fought two completely separate wars. they didn't even go so far as to exchange information on antitank guns. and then, of course, we come to the holocaust, and i don't need to explain how that was ideologically driven, but it was, again, a classic error by adolf hitler to try to wipe out
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the jews whilst he was also trying to fight a war on two fronts. and when one doesn't look through the statistics, between 1939 and 1944 the thurm of people working -- the number of people working in if german factories collapsed from 39 million to 29 million, a drop of over 25%. at exactly the same time as he was wiping out six million of his most intelligent, hard working, productive and well-educated people. it made absolutely no strategic sense whatsoever and could only be seen in terms of ideology. and he knew perfectly well, in fact, from be his own experiences that the jews would have fought incredibly well n. the first world war his own iron class first class was procured for him by hissage tax --
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agitant who was, himself, jewish. and, of course, ultimately, with the second world war ending because of the use of an invention that was very largely created as a result of the brilliant scientific minds of many of the jews who had left germany, he actually lost that weapon as well. i once interviewed winston churchill's assistant military secretary, general jacob, and he said to me, you know, i often think why it was that we won the war, and i often just come back to the realization that it was because our german scientists were cleverer than their german scientists. [laughter] and this can be proved statistically. the number of nobel prize winners in scientific subjects between 1901 and hitler coming
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to power in 1933, the number was, um, 25 german nobel prizes to five american. as a result of the great brain drain that came because of adolf hitler, between 1950 and the year 2000 when germany won 16 nobel prizes, america won 67. so we come back, and hitler himself is going to be questioned again here, to the question of why the, why the axis lost the war. and on the fourth of february, 1942, again, entertaining himmler the conversation got round to shakespeare of all things. it was probably to lear and hamlet he was referring when adolf hitler said it was a, quote, misfortune that none of
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our great writers took his summit from german empiral history. imperial history. the english had shakespeare. as far as heros were concerned, only with imbeciles and madmen. very often this is what -- these are the ec la nations. people say hitler was an imbecile, he was stupid, too much of a corporal rather than a general, too intellectually inferior to win the war. this is not the case as we saw at the beginning of the war. he had stunning victories. even the victory over yugoslavia was won within three weeks when he allowed his generals to have their head. he wasn't intellectual inferior either, adolf hitler. in his amazing knowledge of the
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calipers of weapons and the gauges of railroad tracks and the weight of tanks and the speed of ships he was a bit of a train spotter. that's the sort of closest to typing. not ignorant by any means. neither was he a madman. he went mad towards the end of his life. who wouldn't, knowing he was going to die? [laughter] last three months of his life after about february 1945 there was, clearly, no way out and then, yes, he started to act irrationally. but i don't believe either in his stupidity or his lunacy that was the real reason why adolf hitler lost the second world war. no. the reason that the axis powers lost was hitler was a fanatical, unregenerate nazi. thank you very much, indeed. [applause]
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>> we have plenty of time for questions. i'll just ask you when you're acknowledged to wait for the microphone so the c-span audience can hear your questions well and identify yourself. any questions? >> sir. >> the question i've got is, his lead in missile technology, 12r-rbgss, v1s struck me as if he had that a year before, it would have changed the whole balance. what -- >> yes, that's a very good question. there are an awful lot of -- [inaudible] to the second world war, and that was one area where german scientists did have the, have the jump on the allies. very fortunately, though, hitler
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kept changing his mind. the classic being jet technology. and he changed the measuring e262 -- me262 from being a bomber to a fighter back to a bomber which involved enormous amounts of dislocation and industrial bottle necks. and he would do this with many prompts, in fact. and so rather than being this man of iron will which the nazis constantly projected him as, in fact, he changed his mind an awful lot, and we're very fortunate he did. sir. >> tom. how deep in the german people did that nazi that fanaticism g? or was it a situation where most of the people were simply doing
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what they had to do for fear of, you know, fear of being executed and going to prison? but how deep did the nazi ideology go? >> well, you see from the, um, from the fanatical resistance in 1945, especially amongst the youth, that those people who had had 12 years of nazi ideology being shoved down their throats from childhood since 1933, um, did tend to believe it. and would act on it. and fought. the last army that hitler put into the field, they were 16-year-olds and 15-year-olds. some, indeed, in the battle of berlin 14-year-olds. and these people had their entire lives just been listening to the propaganda and ideology of the nationalization. and so it wasn't surprising that they, um, they were imbued with it. not true, though, of course,
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with the men further on up, the military scale. it wasn't, of course, until the 20th of july, 1944, that they let off a bomb successfully, that the german general let off a bomb successfully under adolf hitler. but they did try on earlier occasions, and although they are, obviously, a tremendously brave and fantastically courageous group of people, the people who are closely involved in that particular bomb plot, in large the german officer corp.s and the german general staff and certainly the german generals themselves were a very ambitious group who were quite willing to outmaneuver each other, they were quite willing if one was sacked to jump into his place. they, um, took large amounts of cash, just straightforward money from adolf hitler, estates in poland and so on. there was a screenal side to them -- venal side to them as
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well as moral cowardice to quite a lot of the german generals which i go into in some detail in the this book. gentleman in the back there. >> [inaudible] you raised are -- you raised a question in the literature of this talk about why the panzas were held back at dun kirk, and i was curious. i'd never heard that -- >> yes, yes, thank you for mentioning that. the question was why on the 24th of may 1940, 71 years ago today, as it turns out, were the panzas who had virtually surrounded the town of can kirk and were on the heights above the town given the order, given the notorious halt order which, um, because they
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then didn't go down into the town allowed the british expeditionary force of a million men and then some 80,000 french to escape. it was finally countermanded on the 28th of may, and by that stage the dunkirk evacuation had started. and they also -- well, many historians have given many different answers, and one said, though, that i won the argument that i believe i have come prehe saidively -- comprehensively disproved in this book which i am going to display because you should always display the product -- [laughter] is, um, when conspiracy theorists tell us that he deliberately allowed the british army to escape because he wanted to make some kind of peace deal with britain or at least it
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appeases in the british government. in the course of researching this book, i came across a letter in a completely new archive called the ian sayer archive, a businessman who has hundreds of thousands of diaries and photographs which had never seen by any worry like me. you're like a child in a sweet shop. and one of the letters that i found was from major general alfred, the commander of military operations of the -- [inaudible] in the hitler headquarters who was writing to say that on the 24th of may, um, that he believed that, um, the furor, that he had been speaking to the furor who is totally confident that there is now no way that the british can's tape, and -- escape, and he's going to scoop up the whole of the
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expeditionary force. the exact wording is in the book, offense. so i think this -- of course. so i think this completely undermines the idea that hitler wanted the british to escape not at least, of course, because he would have been in a far stronger position in terms of peace negotiation if he had managed to capture the british army. it make no sense. so the real reasons to come back to your question, the real reasons why he supported signing the halt order totally against the, against the pleadings of men like rommel and kleist was that having fought in the first world war, he knew that 14 days, two weeks continuous fighting was exhausting for any troops. he had already committed armor in poland and found that in the built-up areas, um, they took a heavy toll. easily the most -- the least
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defended part of a tank is its roof. and so they feared attacks from above in built-up areas. they also feared that the dikes were going to be flooded and that he could have lost armor like that. and they also feared a french counterattack from the north which never materialized. but nonetheless, it could happen. so, um, for these reasons and probably some others, he put out this order, and it took four days before he realized how disastrous it was. he had been promised that he was going to be able to destroy the british ec we decision their force in the air. when one thinks that we lost no fewer than nine destroyers and, i think, two cruisers, certainly one cruiser in the, in the dunkirk campaign, it was tremendously expensive in a
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naval sense as well. >> one of the interesting things in your book is the remarkable contribution of the soviets on the eastern front to victory in terms of the allied powers. and you quote a series of statistics in there that are quite revealing. >> yes. i mean, the -- i think one of the statistics is probably the most, in my view, it's the central point of the second world war. and that is for every five germans killed in combat in the second world war by which i don't mean people bombed from the air, i mean german soldiers killed on the ground on the battlefield, for every five of them, four were killed on the eastern front. so what britain, america and canada and the rest were doing was effectively killing the
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fifth german. and, yes, we were doing lots of other things and vital things to do with, to do with keeping the sea lanes open, land anything north africa, italy and, obviously, d-day, keeping russia in the war byes massive lend/lease operation to them and then vitally, also, through the combined bomber offensive keeping 70% of the west, protecting their cities which, of course, had that not happened would have been able to have been used in the east against leningrad, moscow and stalingrad. and at battles like kimsing. nonetheless, we have to acknowledge the fact that for every american who died in the second world war, 19 russians died. >> um, you named, of course, a
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number of ideological elements that entered into major, um, episode and major themes. and, of course; he did lose the war. i'm just wondering whether it was really, really close. in other words, he department have to do all of these -- he didn't have to do all of these, and were there one or to that in the absence of them he would have won the war? i'm thinking in particular, of course, not just of the russian escapade, but the north african campaign and, perhaps, a different way of approaching or good luck instead of bad luck on the beaches of normandy in 1944. >> are well, yes, very good question. i think that had he devoted a fraction of the three million men, 186 divisions that he unleashed in operation barbarosa against the russians in 1941,
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had he sent a fraction to north africa, he would have flung britain off the, off the -- and certainly out of egypt. we have skeleton forces in iran and iraq at that time. and then he would have been able to cut britain off from 80 president of it oil -- 90% of it oil -- 80% of its oil. the expense of getting oil across from america was enormous at the time of the battle of atlantic because in january 1942 the germans had added a router to the machine meaning that our decrypts suddenly turned into gobbledygook. it wasn't until december 1943 that they were able to break back into the german codement so, and in that time the sinkings of merchant and naval vessels skyrocketed. so, yes, had he then been able
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to clear up out of the middle east, he would have been able to have attacked from iran into the caucus and only gone a fraction of the distance that he needed in order to cut stalin off from 80% of his oil. rather than coming all the way across a thousand miles from poland. so, yes, there are plenty of other alternative strategies. the other one that you mentioned, of course, with d-day is a bit more problematic because, yes, he did have the two panza divisions close to beaches which could cause a massive dislocation of the attack. however, when one looks at the air superiority that the allies had by june 1944 when they were able to fly 319 sororities that
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day -- sorties that day, the allies flew 6,488. so however well you were armed or might do, if you have, if you have your tanks being taken out from the air, then it, it's pretty much an open and shut case. so gentleman in the front. >> michael goodwin. you draw a distinction in the early years between what you call ideological or that fanatim and lunacy toward the end of his life. i think for most people today we look at hitler's whole life as one of lunacy, as a madman. how are you describing ideology in a way that is not mad from our current understanding? >> um, yes. that's also a good question. um, i don't see him as a madman from the beginning of his, of
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his career onwards. i see him as a particularly, um, vicious-minded adventurer who would always double the stakes whenever the, whenever the crisis moment came. who would grant every opportunity. he's the ultimate opportunist. and he's a, a politician completely without principle, and he could get quite far in a country which has been ravaged by the great depression and which has this concept with regard to it defeat in the great war. um, but what i do think is that had a german nationalist, the more tiff german nationalist, somebody who was, um, sort of a business mark figure, he could have achieved the same thing in terms of grabbing ultimate and, actually, power. but i don't think that he would have made all the mistakes that
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hitler did by constantly putting national socialist principles before germany's best interests. gentleman in the back now. [inaudible] thanks. >> i'd like to follow up on the judge's question about the extent to which the german people were complicit. having recently come back from berlin, i was blown away by the extent to which the current german government, basically, in their museums and everything about the final solution, the holocaust is, basically, saying this is not a bunch of idealistic nazis. the german people bought into this. they were complicit. to me, it was mind-boggling the extent to which they're saying the german people really supported the nazis. it wasn't just fear of retribution. i'd be interest inside your
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comment -- interested in this your comment as to the extent to which the german government today is correct in blaming not just the nazis, the idealists, the hitlers if you will, but the whole population. >> oh, yes. no the, i agree with the german government wholeheartedly, and i think it's very brave for the german government to say it as well. um, but the fact is that there was, um, there was coercion, obviously, but there was very little political coercion at the holes to get those enormous majorities that hitler won. um, you only have to look at the footage of the numbers of people who turn out to congratulate him after his return from france in this june 1940. millions of people on the streets. it's, it's virtually impossible for a regime to turn out millions of people on the streets if they don't want to go. and so on every level when one
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reads the works of other historians, you appreciate that on pretty much every level of public opinion that it's able to, um, to quantify the, um, adolf hitler was tremendously popular in 940 and 1941. of course he was. look at what he had, he had delivered to germany in terms of victory after victory. to defeat france which had cost germany the fist world war and, you know, hundreds of thousands kills in four years, to defeat france and have them declare only six weeks, seven weeks into the campaign, to have, as i said earlier, just gone straight through yugoslavia and greece, you know, these were unbelievable victories. they hadn't been seen on the european continent since napoleon. and so it is understandable why
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a people who also as we know have a long, long history of antisemitism anyhow were seduced by this man. the interesting thing is how long -- i suppose -- and anyhow, once you're into a world war, it's your patriotic duty to support the government anyhow. that's something that's seen across democratic nations as well as totalitarian ones. and so it, um, doesn't surprise me at all the, um, the fanaticism that you get by 1945, especially amongst the people who are not, you know, a lot of them are unthinking people. they're thoughtful ones -- the thoughtful ones start to slip away from naziism before the train hits. gentleman in the front here, carl.
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>> hi, carl anderson. i have a question about your ideas of the origins of hitler's anti-semitism. how much of it was the fact that he was deeply, inherently anti-semitic versus being an opportunist, he could use it to amass great power? >> yes, a very good question and one that is strongly and heatedly debated too. whatwhere is the, where are the roots of his anti-semitism, and there are so many books on this. you will have people who will say that adolf hitler became an anti-semite through monocausal statements. hoo he's supposed -- he's supposed to have caught venereal disease of a prostitute, his mother's doctor who failed to diagnose his mother's cancer was with jewish. in his youth he was any number
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of sort of sexual, sigh sigh chi reasons, none of which hold any kind of water at least for me whatsoever. um, the fact was, though that can the fifth rate tracts that he read as a panelist and artist, you know, left the trenches. and before he went into the trenches seemed to have affected his view of this. this is a long history of awe teen anti-- austrian anti-semitism anyhow. then he realized how useful it t was for him politically. it account no just be -- cannot just be on opportunism. and he certainly wouldn't have
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taken all the risks he did in order to wipe out so much of the european jury. that was something that came from him. there's no example of any nazi ever suffering any, um, any career, um, setback by not being utterly fanatical and genocidal towards the jews. he was, he was the worst of all the nazis. and so this, it doesn't imply opportunism. this implies a deep that fanatil and lifelong hatred. where it comes from, as i say, he was reading literature as a teenager and in the trenches and, obviously, immediately afterwards. gentleman back there? >> roy with the atlas economic research foundation.
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thank you for sharing so much of your knowledge with us this evening. my question's not about what you know, but about what you wish you knew. i'm wondering if you studied world war ii what might be the molely grail, if you will -- holy grail, if you will, for things you hope at some point to find a document and say, ah, now we know the answer to the question? >> i think one of the classic mysteries is the flight. i was one of first people into the british public records office when 50 years after the hecht light in 1991 they opened up the papers. and we were allowed to read the lord chancellor, lord simon's interview of -- verbatim transcripts of the interveer with hecht. and it really taught us next to nothing. yes, he wanted to fight
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against -- he wanted britain to fight against the doll she vixs which, of course -- bolsheviks which allowed churchill to appreciate all the information he'd been hearing about a coming attack on russia was true though hecht did not give away the dates of barbarosa. was it really that he saw himself being outmaneuvered by goebbels and wanted to do one desperate thing in order to try and bring the one piece that he knew the furor wanted. because peace on the western front of that stage would have been invaluable. or was it just a mad cap, one-off thing? might he have spotted that the nazis weren't going to win the second world war and the only way to save his skin was be in the tower of london rather than berlin and nuremberg.
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any number of reasons say it would be nice to have a little happened written diary note on the night of 1941. i'm getting into the claim off to scotland because -- [inaudible] >> we'll adjourn on that note. >> thank you very much, indeed. [applause] >> historian andrew roberts on booktv. and to find out more visit the author's web site, andrew-roberts.net. ♪ >> coming up next, booktv presents "after words," an hourlong program where we invite guest hosts to interview authors. this week, author eric
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stakelbeck asserting the obama administration is concealing the true magnitude of terrorist attack on u.s. soil. he makes his case using interviews with covert operatives and people he says are terrorists with link to al-qaeda. he discusses his findings with former u.s. house representative and radio host fred grandy. >> after i read this book, i came across a few facts that i want to run by you because i think it sets up the discussion pretty well. according to some data i've just seen, there are over 1200 government organizations across the country involve inside intelligence -- involved in intelligence, counterterrorism and homeland security. we've got about 850,000 people with top security clearances, and the intelligence budget since september 10, 2001, is now

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